Argentina dictatorship files reveal 'blacklists'

Story highlights

  • 1,500 files from the Argentine dictatorship were uncovered
  • The files include blacklists of some cultural icons
  • Human rights groups say there is still a lot of work to do
Hundreds of secret files from the Argentinean dictatorship have been uncovered, including "blacklists" that singled out more than 300 artists, actors and writers.
Among those the military junta deemed "dangerous": novelist Julio Cortazar, singer Mercedes Sosa and actress Norma Aleandro. These three, for example, spent the dictatorship years abroad: Sosa and Aleandro in exile and Cortazar in France.
These cultural figures were categorized as "F1" to "F4," corresponding to their perceived risk to the state, Defense Minister Agustin Rossi said Monday when he unveiled the findings. Those labeled F1 were considered low-risk, and F4s were those seen as most dangerous to the dictatorship.
The works of these artists were banned or censored during the dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983.
Up to 30,000 students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists who ran afoul of the dictatorship because of their political views disappeared or were held in secret jails and torture centers during the so-called Dirty War.
The documents -- 1,500 in total -- are all from the secret files of the military junta, Rossi said.
The files were found in the basement of the building that houses the air force headquarters, Rossi said, according to the state-run Telam news agency.
The files have "historical and judicial" value, Rossi told a radio station Tuesday.
"Thirty years since the return to democracy, there may still exist documentation that can be useful" to reconstruct details from the dictatorship, he said.
Hebe de Bonafini of the human rights group Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo gave credit to the military for finding the documents and making their existence known.
"There will be things that we know and things that we won't, but the important things is that there are 1,500 unexpected files that come at an unexpected moment," she told Telam.